A new dark money group formed four weeks ago is raising money from labor unions to benefit Steve Sweeney, a former Senate President who is expected to seek the Democratic nomination for governor of New Jersey in 2025.
The fledgling group, the New Jersey Participation Project, held a fundraiser in Washington last night, honoring Sweeney at an event held during the North American Building Trades Union legislative conference. The International Association of Ironworkers sponsored the event – Sweeney is the general vice president – along with the Sheet Metal Workers’ Union, and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers.
The invitation to the event, which did not include a ticket price, notes that “public disclosure of donors is not required for contributions made for the general purpose of New Jersey Participation Project.” It noted that the 501 (c)4 non-profit “can accept unlimited contributions from corporations and individuals.”
The group has hired Jennifer May, a professional fundraiser who was the finance director for Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill). Corporation filings with the state show the organization is registered to the home address of Sean Kennedy, a longtime Sweeney advisor. The organization was formed on March 31.
It’s not clear how much Sweeney’s group raised. May did not immediately respond to a text message.
Sweeney has made no secret of his plan to run for governor in two years; he announced his intentions at a plumbers union meeting weeks after the 2021 election.
President Joe Biden, who announced his re-election bid today, will address the national building trades group today.